Death Note is a manga series that has a lot of complex characters, all of whom have a different idea of what justice is. Some of the characters who have the strongest beliefs are members of the Task Force, which serves as one of Kira’s first threats until he is able to manipulate them.
Matsuda was a member of the Task Force who became a beloved character by many fans. He had a lot of comedic moments and was quite different from those around him, who were often much more serious than he was. Unfortunately, Matsuda faced many failures throughout his arc.
10 His Comrades Underestimated Him
While the other members of the Task Force believed that Kira needed to be punished and caught no matter what, Matsuda always tried to understand Kira, thinking that the person he was trying to catch may not actually be the evil killer those around him made him out to be. Because of this and his lack of experience as an officer, the Task Force often didn’t even think of him as a great comrade. This hurt Matsuda, seeing how he wanted to prove that he was an equal to them.
9 He Went To Yotsuba & Almost Died
One of the times where Matsuda tried to prove his worth to the Task Force was when he snuck into Yotsuba after they discovered that the company was connected to Kira. He was able to listen in on an important meeting where he heard Yotsuba workers talking about who they would kill as Kira, but he was eventually discovered by them. Luckily, he was able to trick them into thinking he was there as Misa’s manager, wanting to get her in a Yotsuba commercial. In order to avoid being killed, Matsuda ended up faking his death by getting drunk and falling from a great height, when in reality, the Task Force saved him.
8 He Was Rejected By Sayu
Sayu Yagami was Soichiro’s daughter and Light’s sister. Though she wasn’t an important character in the beginning of the series, she played an important role after the manga jumped a few years into the future. It was the first time that Matsuda had seen Sayu in years, and he quickly developed a crush on her but was unfortunately turned down. To make matters worse, Sayu’s parents made it very clear that he wouldn’t be accepted into their family, which was quite embarrassing for him.
7 He Told Mello That He Was L
Even though Matsuda wasn’t accepted by the Yagami family, he cared a lot about them. He considered Light to be a friend of his and would do anything to protect him, even if it meant putting himself in danger. Once Light became L’s successor and had to take his name, Mello wanted to find out the identity of the new L. In order to keep Light safe, Matsuda tricked Mello into thinking that it was him, which could have killed him if Mello ever found out what he looked like and wrote his name into the Death Note.
6 He Cared About Light’s Love Life More Than The Kira Investigation
Matsuda was always a romantic, especially toward the end of the series when he had to observe the meetings between Light and Takada. Once Takada became Kira’s spokesperson, Light was able to convince the Task Force to let him meet up with her, especially since they used to date and it would help their investigation. However, they only agreed to do so if they could watch and listen to Light and Takada.
After Takada fell in love with Light, the two pretended to talk about things that wouldn’t make them seem suspicious while secretly passing notes in which he instructed her on what to do as his spokeswoman. While listening to these conversations, Matsuda easily got distracted with Light’s love life rather than paying attention to the Kira investigation.
5 He Was Too Honest
Matsuda was always a very honest person. From the beginning of the series, he was the only police officer in the NPA to understand that Kira’s killings decreased crime rate. Even though the officers around him felt that it was wrong to think of Kira in any positive way, Matsuda never pretended to agree with them. He also told those around him when he thought they were wrong and sometimes even put himself in danger by being too honest. He only lied when he absolutely needed to, and though that’s good in some ways, it wasn’t always the smart thing to do, especially when many of his interactions were with people who were more cunning or intelligent than he was.
4 He Put Too Much Faith In Light
Even before the manga began, Matsuda respected Soichiro more than most of the other officers in the NPA, and when he met Light, he treated him the same way. Once Light joined the Task Force, he worked with Matsuda more than any of the other officers, including his own father. And because Matsuda was able to understand Kira’s side of things, Light agreed with him on things more than any of the other Task Force members.
However, once Matsuda learned that Light and Kira were the same person, he felt completely betrayed, especially since that meant that Light was responsible for Soichiro’s death. Matsuda shot Light at the end of the series, shocking everyone around them, including Light, who had believed that Matsuda may have been on his side.
3 He Was Against Near During The Investigation
Matsuda never completely trusted L, especially since he thought that Light was innocent. After Near was introduced, Matsuda had an even harder time believing in L’s successor, especially since he was a very mysterious character who never did much to help the Task Force, unlike L. While Near was able to convince other members of the Task Force, like Mogi and Aizawa, to believe that Light was Kira and to join his side, he wasn’t able to get through to Matsuda. If he had put his feelings aside, he could have gotten to the truth sooner and would have understood why Aizawa and Mogi no longer had faith in Light.
2 He Theorized That Light Wasn’t Kira For A Year
Even after Near proved that Light was Kira all along and Ryuk wrote Light’s name into the Death Note, Matsuda wanted to believe that his friend was innocent. For an entire year, he came up with many theories that Light was a victim and that Near set him up. He talked about this with Ide a lot, who was eventually able to get Matsuda to realize that there was no evidence that any of his theories were real, and that it was actually just his wish for Light to be innocent.
1 He Had To Work With Near
After Light died, Near became the next L. And though he didn’t consider the Task Force to be useful during the Kira investigation due to how much Light was able to manipulate them, he worked with them after Kira was caught. Because of this, even though Matsuda never liked Near and had suspicions that he was actually his enemy, he had no choice but to work with him. Not only did he stay with the Task Force, who still didn’t see him as their equal, but now he had another person around who wasn’t good to him. Even if they don’t see much in him, this proves that Matsuda really is a loyal officer who deserves better from his comrades.